How to Deal With Elbow Pain in CrossFit?

How to Deal With Elbow Pain in CrossFit

CrossFit is a challenging sport that incorporates strength training, gymnastics, and cardio all in one. To perform well as a CrossFit athlete, you need to have strong core strength and excellent mobility in your joints. However, performing CrossFit regularly can cause certain aches and pains. One of the most common areas that get sore after doing CrossFit is the elbows. Elbow pain may feel minor at first, but it can become more serious if left untreated. We’ll cover the causes of elbow pain during CrossFit, tips for preventing elbow pain during workouts, and how to deal with elbow pain if it does occur. 

How to Deal with Elbow Pain in CrossFit?

Preventing elbow pain during CrossFit starts with warming up and stretching. As with any other muscle group, warming up the muscles and tendons in your forearms will help reduce the risk of injury. Stretch the muscles in your forearms, wrists, and hands before performing any grip-heavy exercises, such as rope climbs, barbell rows, and handstand push-ups. Wrist wraps can also help protect the joints in your wrists and forearms during heavy lifting. Avoid gripping too tightly during CrossFit. If you have to grip too tightly, it might be a sign that your grip strength needs some improvement. Beyond warming up and stretching, adjusting your technique can also help prevent elbow pain during CrossFit.

If you have any underlying joint conditions, such as degenerative joint disease, it’s important to seek advice from a medical professional. If you don’t have any joint conditions but are still experiencing elbow pain, these tips can help:

  • Avoid being too aggressive with heavy weights 
  • Perform exercises that use the forearms, such as pull-ups and ring dips 
  • Avoid using too heavy a weight belt
  • Switch hand positions on the barbell during barbell rows so that you aren’t overusing one side of your body
  • Perform mobility and flexibility exercises for the joints in your forearms and hands 
  • Tape up your elbows if they are feeling particularly sore

I wanted to show you the number one cause of elbow pain in CrossFitters.

CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video.

I had Jenna demonstrate the exercise.


The mistake CrossFitters make while doing this exercise causes elbow pain. Wrist pain is common among CrossFitters doing pull ups, and it is the cause of the problem. 

When performing this exercise, strive to keep the wrist neutral. Pull with the elbows and with the back rather than pulling or cheating with the wrist. 

Many people are lifting from the wrist, and they ignore their elbows and mid back. When they lift with the wrist, the forearm muscles tighten up, and because they cannot hold the weight, they become stretched and ripped. As a result, the muscles become constantly contracted and ripped. 

At first, ripping the forearm muscles might not cause anything but, over time, constant contraction and ripping will lead to elbow pain. 

When you do a pullup exercise, look at your wrist position and make sure that you don’t lift or cheat with the wrist. Keep the wrist in neutral, focus on pulling with the elbow and with your back.



If you want to learn how to eliminate your tennis elbow pain effectively and safely, then check out the Tennis Elbow Pain Solution program, here!

Tennis Elbow Pain Solution

Take care!

Rick Kaselj, MS